falling in love…

I fell in love.

Yep.

Over Easter weekend, I fell – hook, line and sinker.

I fell in love with wonderful, beautiful, lovely… London.  :0)

My first visit to London was in December 2000 – New Years Eve in the big city.  It was cold… bitterly cold, rainy, and damp (oh so very damp)…  there was no falling in love on that visit.

Nor did I fall in love over the course of the last 10 years… every visit reinforced that I would never be a Londoner.  Nor did I want to be.  That is… until this last visit.

It was sunny.  And warm… actually, it was hot (25 degrees + every single day!!!!).  And it glowed in the pre-royal wedding festivities (I didn’t stick around for the wedding, but it sure was fun to see the city prep for it).  Plus I got to spend the weekend with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Elina (and her younger sisters, who are like my younger sisters).  It was the PERFECT mini break from reality.

Especially because we went to one of my favourite places on earth.

We spent Easter Sunday (also my 32nd birthday) at  The hummingbird bakery.  Giddy doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt as we set out that morning… 

I heart the hummingbird bakery.  At least… I have loved it through its recipes (The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook).  I’ve blogged about some of my hummingbird baking experiences… their carrot cake , black bottom cupcakes , and the peaches & cream cupcakes .  Simple and delicious recipes.

But actually getting to eat hummingbird treats on site?!

holy mother of pearl.  I was in baked good heaven.

The carrot cake: devine.  brilliant.  gorgeous.  bloody amazing.  best thing I have EVER eaten.  EVER.  And it wasn’t just because it was moist and flavourful.  The icing… so much cream cheese frosting – fluffy and lovely and… satisfying.

And then the lemon cheesecake.  oh. my. gawd.  seriously!  I have never enjoyed cheesecake as much as I did that afternoon… smooth and creamy.  Not dense or heavy… just super fluffy.  And the base?  AMAZING.  It wasn’t overly thick or overbaked.  It was light and crumbly.  My mouth was in love.

I couldn’t leave without buying a copy of their newest recipe book hummingbird bakery cake days.  Anything that says “recipes to make every day special” is worth purchasing… and so purchase it I did!

And thank goodness I did.

You’ve already seen those amazing lemon meringue cupcakes that I made last week.  And then I made this.

It’s a peanut butter and chocolate pie.

Intense?  Just a little.

Addictive?  Completely.

Worth trying? Absolutely… without a doubt.  This will make your day extra special.  Especially when you do as I say… and replace the original cookie base with an oreo cookie base.  Yep.  Follow my recipe and you will be in peanut butter and chocolate pie heaven.

peanut butter chocolate (oreo cookie) pie

ingredients:

base:

1 entire box, oreo cookies, pulsed

1/2 c. butter, melted

chocolate ganache filling & whipped topping:

3 tbsp cornstarch

160g sugar

550 mL milk

3 egg yolks

180g peanut butter

80g dark chocolate, chopped

250 mL heavy cream

handful of salted peanuts, roughly chopped

Start with the base.  Use your food processor to pulse the oreo cookies until they are a nice fine crumble. 

Toss the crushed cookies into a bowl, and, using a wooden spoon, slowly add the melted butter – you don’t want to add so much butter that it becomes too moist – you just want the crumbs to stick together when you pinch them together.

Once you get it to that texture (you might not need the entire half cup of melted butter… or you might need more) – tip the cookie crumble into your greased 9 -inch springform pan (I sprayed mine with non-stick spray).  Press the crumbs into the base, and up the sides of the pan – you need this to hold your ganache filling and whipped cream peanut butter topping.  Allow it to cool in the fridge for about 40 minutes.

Take that time to make the chocolate ganahce filling…

Combine the cornstarch with the sugar in a small saucepan.  Then whisk together the milk with the egg yolks in a large measuring cup: pouring this mixture into the pan and place the pan over low heat, cooking until thickened, WHISKING CONTINUOUSLY.  You don’t want clumps :0)  Once the mixture has thickened, remove it from the heat and stir in the peanut butter.

Place your chocolate in a large bowl and pour about one third of the peanut butter mixture on top.  Mix well – ensuring that the chocolate melts and the filling becomes smooth and even.

Pour your chocolate ganache filling over your chilled oreo cookie base.  Cover with plastic wrap (touching the ganache directly) and place the pie in your fridge for 30 – 40 minutes (it should set).  Cover the remaining two thirds of your peanut butter mixture with plastic wrap and set aside to cool.

When you’re about ready to take your unfinished pie out of the fridge, start on your topping.

In the bowl of your stand-mixer, using your whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream.  You want it to get thick and to have soft peaks.  My mistake at this point was that I didn’t allow it to get thick enough… and so when I cut into the pie, this topping just collapsed on itself – making it messy, while still delicious :0)

Once you have whipped your cream, grab your peanut butter mixture and fold it in:

Once it is well mixed, remove your pie from the fridge and top the chocolate peanut butter ganache with this whipped cream peanut butter topping.  Return your pie to the fridge for another 40 – 50 minutes.  I know… you still have to wait before you can tuck right in!

Once you’re done waiting, grab your roughly chopped salted peanuts and sprinkle them over the top.  That’s it.  Now you can cut into it.  See… doesn’t it just look amazing?  It is.  And it’s yet another reason why I heart the hummingbird bakery.

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4 thoughts on “falling in love…

  1. Holy guacamole,
    it Is the city of pastry. Amazing. you ll have to come whip up some treats at the restaurant soon.
    bisous
    c

  2. We’re going to lease a greyhound bus and load it full of pie affectionados here in Cleavland and head over to Asheville, NC. We will tour the Biltmore House in the morning and have lunch at the famous “Anita and Kutchie’s …Key Lime Pie Factory close by. You may have heard about the pie factory, They bake America’s Favorite Key Lime Pies. They have won the Best Key Lime Pie award the past 16-years in a roll! While there we will tour the factory, meet all of they’re award winning super-staff-teams. For dinner we will enjoy Anita and Kutchie’s Royal Quality King-Cut Prime Ribs of Beef. Another round of key lime pies, a few after dinner drinks and we will reload the bus around 9:00 pm for the trip back to Cleavland. Plans are to be back-in Cleavland by 6:30 am if all goes well. If you or someone you know would like to take the journey along with us then please call Jan at the office for more information, etc. Due to the slow economy, we only have four of these trips scheduled for 2013, so sign-up soon.

    Jennie and Jamie

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